Greek shipowners turn away from registering ships in Greece in favour of Malta

Greek shipowners continue to flag the majority of their vessels in Greece and Liberia, but are increasingly favouring the Maltese flag instead of their own, according to figures from the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee (GSCC).

Around 20% of Greek-owned vessels, totalling 809 ships (78.9m dwt), are registered in Greece. However, GSCC notes the Greek-flagged fleet has decreased by 30 vessels (1.5m dwt) over the past 12 months – the biggest loss of Greek-owned vessels posted by any registry in the study.

Meanwhile, Malta saw a massive increase of 60 Greek-owned vessels (8.4m dwt) being flagged in the country during the past 12 months. The Maltese registry flags 16% of the Greek fleet, or 667 ships (57m dwt), making it the fourth biggest registry for Hellenic shipowners in terms of vessel numbers and deadweight tonnage.

Greek shipowners continue to follow the tradition of flagging many of their vessels in Liberia, a relationship that dates back to 1949 when the Stavros Niarchos-owned oil tanker World Peace became the first ship to be registered under the Liberian flag.

Some 744 Greek-owned vessels (54.7m dwt) are currently registered in Liberia, a modest increase of just five vessels (706,167 dwt) during the past year, the GSCC data shows. Liberia continues to be the second largest ship registry for Greek-owned tonnage and the most popular open registry for the fleet.

The Marshall Islands, the third largest registry for the Greek-owned fleet, has added 20 Greek vessels to its books over the past year (743,640 dwt in total). The registry now flags 717 such ships (55.5m dwt), according to the GSCC report.


Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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